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Stem-Cells: Pretty Good Politics

Jake Tapper over at ABC News seems to think that a Bush stem-cell veto would help the Democrats in 2006.

That seems pretty unlikely to me. I have no moral problems with such research, but I highly doubt President Bush or the GOP will pay any short-term price for such a move. Support for stem-cell research is probably not enough to get liberal voters to the polls. At the same time, social conservatives who have felt slighted by this administration ("hoodwinked" is more like it, actually) will be delighted that the president's first veto will be on their behalf.

In other words, stem-cell research is a great base motivator for Republicans, but not much of an issue for Democrats. People who oppose the research oppose it strongly, those who support it hardly ever think about it.

Long-term, I think the Republicans do risk branding themselves as anti-science -- between global-warming denial, anti-evolution dust ups, etc. And that would be to their detriment. But as for 2006: A stem-cell veto, while not necessarily great policy, is pretty good politics.